Following is a press release e-mailed by Menlo Park Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson:
With the city-issued press release (below), the City of Menlo Park invites the community to the City Council Reorganization on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7pm, followed by a "One Menlo Park" reception at the historic Latham-Hopkins Gatehouse. This special mixer will offer the outgoing and incoming council and all their supporters an opportunity to come together to enjoy hearty hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and dessert.
"With the election behind us, it is important for everyone to know that we need each person's participation to make our City strong," remarked council member Kelly Fergusson, who currently serves as Vice Mayor and is expected to be elevated to the post of Mayor for 2007."
This event is a way to reach out to everyone who participated in the election -- whether for any one of the six candidates for Council, or on Measures K or J -- on either side."
Underscoring one of her key principles -- inclusiveness -- Fergusson emphasized: "there are so many talented people in Menlo Park -- I want each and every citizen to know that their participation is welcomed and needed. This reception will be a fun way to kick that off."
Fergusson stated that she wants City meetings to be hallmarked by a tone that focuses on the issues and that honors everyone who speaks -- avoiding put downs and personalization by those advancing or opposing any given point of view. "We need a constructive approach that respects differences and finds a way to work together to the betterment of our entire city."
Ms. Fergusson confirmed that she will be reaching out to leaders of all this fall's campaigns, with formal invitations as well as email reminders about the December 5 "One Menlo Park" event, asking them to get the word out throughout their networks to ensure the widest possible communication of the reception invitation as well as the message of inclusion and constructive cooperation among diverse views going forward.
Working alongside the city manager's office to manage the council transition, continuing Council Members Andy Cohen and Fergusson have planned a professionally-facilitated Community Brainstorming Session, "Tell Your City Where To Go" on Dec 9 from 2pm to 5pm (see information below) that engages the public to assist the council's goal setting and prioritization process. "I am excited to get started on working together and finding a role for everyone who is interested in working constructively to accomplish good things. That's want the people of Menlo Park want us to do, for everyone's future." The flyer states, "This the first round of what we hope will be an ongoing dialog between the City and the community about the future of Menlo Park."
The flyer also states, "In addition to the brainstorming session, there will be an extended opportunity for public comment at the regular 7pm City Council meetings on December 12 and 19. Community members are encouraged to come and speak on these nights [or send email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org] if they are unable to attend the Dec 9 session."
Contact: Kelly Fergusson 650-704-5608
MENLO PARK CITY PRESS RELEASE
December 1, 2006
Contact: Audrey Seymour, 650-330-6617
Menlo Park City Council Reorganization and Reception, December 5, 2006, 7:00 p.m., Menlo Park City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street, with a reception immediately to follow at the historic Gate House, 555 Ravenswood, adjacent to the Council Chambers. The City of Menlo Park invites all members of the community to the December 5, 2006 City Council meeting where we will thank outgoing Council Members and welcome the newly elected Council. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers and will include recognition of outgoing Mayor Nicholas Jellins, former Mayor Lee Duboc and former Mayor Mickie Winkler and the swearing in of new Council Members John Boyle, Rich Cline and Heyward Robinson. The Council will then select a new Mayor and Vice Mayor.
Following the meeting there will be a catered reception at the historic Gatehouse building, which is located adjacent to the Council Chambers. The public is invited to join the former Mayors and the new Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Members along with their families and friends.
Mayor Nicholas Jellins emphasizes the community significance of this event. "The Council reorganization reception is a longstanding tradition in Menlo Park. It honors the transition that takes place every two years and reinforces the values of public service and community involvement that are essential to effective local government."
Vice Mayor Kelly Fergusson states, "I look forward to this reception as an opportunity to celebrate the theme of 'One Menlo Park,' recognizing the important contributions and welcoming the ongoing participation of each and every member of our community. Working together we can accomplish truly great things."
DEC. 9 "BRAINSTORMING SESSION
Community Brainstorming Session, Saturday, December 9, 2006, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Burgess Recreation Center, Main Community Room (Room 105)
The City Council invites all community members to a brainstorming session to share ideas about the kind of future you want for the City of Menlo Park.
In this season of gratitude and giving, the Council wants to hear your reflections on:
• Menlo Park's Gifts: What makes this a special place?
• New Year's Resolutions: What challenges do we need to address in the next 1-2 years?
• Hopes and Dreams for the Future: What is our long-term vision of the kind of community we want to be?
This session is intended to provide the Council with input at the very beginning of its time together as an elected body. This is the first round of what we hope will be an ongoing dialog between the City and the community about the future of Menlo Park.
Please join us. Child care and refreshments will be provided. Spanish language interpretation will be available.
In addition to the brainstorming session, there will be an extended opportunity for public comment at the regular City Council meetings on December 12 and 19. Community members are encouraged to come and speak on these nights if they are unable to attend the December 9 session.